Friday, 8 May 2015
Andrews Government must act now on Geelong defence contract bid
Member for Western Victoria Simon Ramsay in Parliament this week called on the Andrews Government to act quickly in putting together its case for the $10 billion LAND 400 contract.
Mr Ramsay said the Andrews Government is failing Victorians by not fighting hard enough for Victoria’s share of defence contracts, particularly in Geelong.
“For some time, Geelong has been in a transition phase in its manufacturing base, and thanks to the support of the Federal Abbott Government the transition from heavy traditional manufacturing to new emerging industries has been relatively smooth.
“Making this transition possible is mainly due to the hard work and commitment of the Federal Member for Corangamite, Sarah Henderson”, Mr Ramsay said.
Mr Ramsay said the drive and passion of the Federal Member and Mayor Darryn Lyons to secure defence contracts for Geelong was not being matched by the Andrews Government or local Labor members.
“The $10 billion LAND 400 contract has been seen as a great opportunity for Geelong, and the Federal Member for Corangamite has been working tirelessly to help secure the contract for Geelong, while local federal and state Labor members have sat on their hands and done nothing for the workers of Geelong.
“The former Coalition Government committed $5 million to establish a defence procurement office in Geelong, and I note the Andrews Government confirmed that in this year’s budget.
“While South Australia has been extremely proactive in offering hundreds of millions of dollars in incentive and sweetener packages, the Andrews Government could not even be bothered to attend the request for tender announcement at Puckapunyal in February.
“Again it was the Federal Member for Corangamite who had to fly the flag for Geelong.
“This week Minister for Industry Ms Lily D’Ambrosio is quoted in the Geelong Advertiser as saying the Government is now staffing the defence procurement office, but it is all a bit too late.
“The request for tenders will close on 25 June and the Minister has not announced even one incentive package or a plan of action, just advertising for staff positions.
“I call on the Minister to explain what the Andrews Government is doing to help the Federal Member for Corangamite secure defence contracts for Geelong.
“At the moment the Andrews Government is doing nothing, despite there being a degree of urgency in competing with other states, to be in the best possible position to secure potential defence contracts”, Mr Ramsay said.